Nerve Testing/ EMG Specialist

Maine Rehabilitative Health

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Osteopathic Medicine located in Scarborough, ME

Persistent and unexplained muscle soreness can mean something more than strained, tired muscles. To understand more fully what’s causing your pain, you may need an electromyography (EMG) to test electrical activity in your nerves and diagnose disorders like pinched nerves or carpal tunnel syndrome. An EMG is usually performed at the same time as a nerve conduction study (NCS). To get more information on these tests or to schedule an appointment, call Vincent Herzog, DO, at Maine Rehabilitative Healthcare in Scarborough, Maine, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

Nerve Testing/ EMG Q & A

Maine Rehabilitative Health

What is electromyography?

An electromyography (EMG) is a test that can help Dr. Herzog determine why your muscles are sore or stiff. Often done at the same time as a nerve conduction study (NCS), an EMG is a good tool for diagnosing nerve and muscle dysfunction and neuromuscular disorders. Things like carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves or other neuropathies are often diagnosed this way.

When you try to move any part of your body, neurons in your brain transmit electrical signals to get your muscles to contract. EMGs use tiny sensors called electrodes to measure these signals.

What is a nerve conduction study?

A nerve conduction study indicates how much electrical activity is passing through a nerve. It uses sensors called electrodes to measure this. Too much activity in the nerve can mean pain and other health problems.

Why would I need an EMG or an NCS?

Dr. Herzog could have several reasons to suspect that you have a nerve or muscle disorder and recommend an EMG or an NCS. Such symptoms include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Muscle pain or cramping

If you have any of these symptoms, let Dr. Herzog know and see if these tests would be a good next step.

What should I expect during my test?

An EMG/ Nerve test utilizes a sensor that reads the nerve through the skin as muscle readings are done. Usually, with an EMG, a sensor with a needle is used, while other sensors, like the ones used for the NCS, are attached by adhesive.

Dr. Herzog then tests nerve activity with these sensors, which may feel like a slight contracting sensation or twinge in the location of the sensor. Most people feel no discomfort during the procedure, and any that does occur will pass quickly as soon as the test is over. Dr. Herzog likely asks you to relax or contract certain muscles, or shift positions depending on the part of your body being tested.

After a few minutes of stimulating the muscles and nerves, and locating the source of your discomfort, Dr. Herzog removes the sensors and should be able to provide you with a diagnosis. An EMG test is one of the most helpful and precise diagnostic tools available, so one quick test can save you months of agonizing.

If you’re worried about muscle soreness or think you may need an EMG, call Maine Rehabilitative Healthcare or set up an appointment online.